Jackie Hosking of Pass It On had a brilliant idea for today: jointly mark World Poetry Day and the 100-year celebrations of the world’s oldest continuously-running literary magazine for children. Australia’s very own wonderful School Magazine, by a blog tour highlighting children’s poetry published in the Magazine. And I’m delighted to be part of that fabulous blog tour!
First of all, I want to say that not only do I love The School Magazine, but I owe a lot to it. As a young reader of non-English speaking background who came to Australia as a school-age child, The School Magazine was one of the most important factors for me in discovering a world of English-language literature, both Australian and international. And later it nurtured me as an emerging writer, with my first story for children, Platypus Daybreak, published in the Magazine in 1988–and excitingly, it was illustrated by Noela Young, whose pictures I’d so loved as a child in Ruth Park’s The Muddle-Headed Wombat! (That is is one of the great pleasures of being published in the magazine–your pieces are illustrated by some of Australia’s most wonderful illustrators!) Over the years I’ve had lots of things published in the Magazine–short stories, articles, plays, and lately, poetry too. My recent success with poetry in The School Magazine has in fact also played an important part in not only encouraging me to write a great deal more of it–but also successfully submitting it for publication in anthologies both here and overseas, and for that I’m grateful once again to the Magazine.
I’ve had three poems published so far in The School Magazine in very recent times–Wings in ‘Touchdown’ May 2014 (illustrated by the great Bronwyn Bancroft); Building Site Zoo in ‘Countdown’, April 2015; Bushland rainbow in ‘Blast Off’ , June 2015 (both illustrated by the wonderful Matt Ottley) and coming up in April in ‘Orbit’ this year, Dance of the autumn trees, illustrated by Bronwyn Bancroft.
So today I’m republishing here, below, the full text of ‘Building Site Zoo’ , with a pic of that page in the Magazine, for your enjoyment! Happy World Poetry Day to everyone–and a very happy 100th birthday to that great literary treasure, The School Magazine! And below the poem are links to other blogs on the tour.
(Please Note: The poem text is copyright to me, illustration reproduced from The School Magazine, copyright to Matt Ottley, design copyright The School Magazine. )
Building Site Zoo
by Sophie Masson
Morning has started and with it too
The day of the beasts from the building site zoo.
The mighty bulldozer wakes with a roar,
Lumbers to work, always wants more,
Paws at the dirt, churns up the ground,
Bellowing challenge to all that’s around.
Jack hammer, jack hammer,
Hops like a roo,
Jump jumping jack hammer,
Show off, that’s you!
Jack hammer, jack hammer,
Stop, that will do!
Concrete mixer’s hungry jaws
Chewing and mashing with never a pause,
Turning sand and gravel so coarse
Into the finest, silkiest sauce.
The cranes are fishing up in the sky,
Patiently dropping their lines from on high.
They never get bored, they never get tired,
They never get angry, they never get fired.
Their long arms don’t shake
As slowly they take
Their prey from the ground to the air to the ground.
Look! Listen! Every day they start up anew
Those amazing beasts from the building site zoo.
Other blogs on the tour: